Study Guide

A Million Little Pieces Part 1, Chapter 7

By James Frey

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Part 1, Chapter 7

  • James is in a new room, and two new people come in with Ken: Lincoln, the unit supervisor; and Joanne, a staff psychologist.
  • Lincoln, Joanne, and Ken hash out what happened between James and Roy, and Ken tells James that his "Tough Guy act" (1.7.60) isn't going to get him very far.
  • James calls Roy a "f***ing liar" (1.7.65), and when Lincoln tells him to watch his mouth, James says "FUCK YOU" (1.7.73) in ALL CAPS and BOLD, so you know he means it.
  • Everyone leaves so that James can calm down.
  • James tells Joanne that he wants to stop taking Librium, because it "makes [him] crazy" (1.7.96). He goes to the dining hall, where he meets up with Leonard and Leonard's pals Ed and Ted.
  • After dinner, James goes to a lecture. Roy is whispering to another man, and James gives him the ol' "say it to my face!" popularized on reality TV shows everywhere.
  • It must be 2:30, because James has to go to the dentist.
  • What follows is about seven pages of dental surgery without anesthesia. The less said, the better.
  • Here's a short quote: "[A] current shoots through my body that is not pain, or even close to pain, but something infinitely greater. Everything goes white and I cannot breathe. I clench my eyes and I bite down on my existing teeth and I think my jaw might be breaking…" (1.7.317). That's about 4% of everything written about this.
  • Afterward, the dentist says that James needs medical attention, but James refuses it. "I have always dealt with pain alone" (1.7.337), James says, forgetting about the tons of street drugs he used to cope with pain over the year.
  • Hank drives James back to the clinic, and James falls asleep in the van on the way.

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